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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.

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02:00:00

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China 28, U.s. 19, Romney 18, Us 18, United States 9, Syria 8, America 6, Iran 6, Chicago 6, Obama 5, Lifelock 5, Pakistan 5, Massachusetts 5, Benghazi 5, Washington 5, Advair 4, Malala 4, Italy 4, Matt Miller 3, Mitt Romney 3,
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  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and  
   discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.  

    October 21, 2012
    7:00 - 9:00am PDT  

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no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. this morning my question. why does mitt romney think marriage solves gun violence? we are women and you will hear us vote. a race talk that asks if talking about race really helps at all. it's a complex world out there. we need someone to lead it. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. at approximately 6:15 a.m. eastern time, former u.s. senator george mcgovern passed away while in hospice in sioux falls, south dakota. he was 90 years old.
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an early opponent of the vietnam war he was, the nominee for president in 1972 for democrats. he lost in a landslide election to republican richard nixon. in a statement, the mcgovern family said "we are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life. advocating for the hungry, fighting for peace." mcgovern long will be remembered for his unwavering opposition to war and war is where we begin this morning. today we're taking you back to june 28th, 1914. yes. june 28, 1914. that was the day that a foreign emissary was assassinated while on a diplomatic mission in sarajevo. that set off a chain of events that led to the largest global conflict the world had ever seen. on that fateful day, a 19-year-old took the life of arch duke franz ferdinand.
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knowing the dead to the austrian hungarian empire would not go unanswered, serbia appealed to their russian neighbors for help. believing this crisis wab on excuse for war in the balance kins, russian readied its army. hungary had declared on serbia. a few days later, after hearing news of this, germany declared war on russia. hoping to keep russia's ally at bay, the german army invaded france through belgium violating the neutrality and drawing great britain into war as well. ferdinand's death beget millions more over four years of trench warfare ending mott with sustained peace but scorched earth that set the stage for the second world war. today the world is dictated by much different events. september 11th, 2012, the anniversary of the biggest terror attack on u.s. soil, one of our most well-respected
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diplomats, ambassador christopher stevens was assassinated in benghazi. it will not lead to an immediate declaration of war. in part, because there's no one nation to declare war on. president obama's vow to track down those responsible only reminds us that in this post 9/11 era, our conflicts wither managed by the boundaries of nation states or diplomatic cables. we're not exactly sure who we're hunting for. details emerge both in reporting and from those responsible for our national security. an accurate account of what happened on that day in september is still not clear. at this point, we have only been offered a window into the current state of our national security apparatus. from we can see, it is a system that many have expanded and may have expanded beyond its capacity, preventing clear lines of communication between departments. a symptom that's infected our national debate on foreign
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policy. steering the conversation away from terrorism and diplomacy and straight into a game that's really just about blame. if last week's political conversation was any indication, what we will be hearing a lot of tomorrow night is bickering that sounds like this. >> i think it's interesting the president said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went to the rose garden and said that this was an act of terror. you said in the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration. is that what you're saying? >> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> he did in fact, sir. let me call it an act of terror. >> can you say it louder
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candace. >> please proceed, governor. say it louder, candy. we're also going to hear about this moment. >> even you would admit it was not the optimal response, at least to the american people as far as us all being on the same page. >> here's what i'll say. >> yeah. >> if four americans get killed, it's not optimal. we're going to fix it. >> all of it? >> all of it. >> those are the barbs and the talking points of politicians, not statesmen. the back and forth about who said what when or if thement uttered the word terrorism or used the most sensitive dick shonn is frankly, beside the point. this nation is on the precipice of a unique opportunity. with two 9/11 wars coming to a close, we have an opportunity to learn from past mistakes. the he said/he said debate provides no context to the life or death questions at hand. what should american, foreign policy be in a post-war era?
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presidential elections are an opportunity about discussion for every facet of our democracy. ideally, what emerges is a choice about the direction of our nation and its place in the world. i hope that tomorrow night's debate provides the context and breadth of conversations to make that choice. with me are msnbc contributors, rule a gentleman brel, foreign policy -- washington post opinion writer, jonathan capehart. matt miller, senior fellow at the center for american progress and gordon chang columnist for forbes.com. nice to have you here. we have a somber tone on nerdland this morning. in part because obviously we're looking at the death of george mcgovern early this morning but also because going into the foreign policy debate, this feels like what could be the single most important presidential debate. this is where presidential power lies and yet i feel like we're going to end up in a
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conversation about polpolitics,t policy. >> it's only going to be a debate in the sense that we call it a debate. it's going to be a televised event where mitt romney tries to use words of foreign countries to try and persuade the million people in five or six states to win. that's a terrible way. i mean, just means he'll be seizing on every moment, whether it's benghazi, whether it's this latest iranian thing i know we'll talk about just to try and score points to move some votes. i don't think we'll get the high minded debate we'll have here. >> benghazi has had an impact. when we look at the pew polling, president obama was leading mitt romney in foreign policy sort of in september coming out of the elections, he was leading on the question of foreign policy 53-38. post libya benghazi, death of the ambassador, it's 47/43%. there are points to be scored. i think you're right. is that what we're going to hear
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or is there any opportunity for a substantive conversation about what we should be up to in the world. >> we should have a substantive conversation. although we can talk about benghazi or iran, the new story, really what we need is a context for what's going on. clearly, for instance, winston churchill, 1946 gave context with his iron curtain speech. we needed that speech, but only for our times. the candidate who gives it tomorrow night, whether president obama or governor romney, the one who gives that context, is going to be the one who changes the terms of debate and it's basically, i think, going to carry the election. >> you know, it's interesting that you make that point about context. we went back to tenth grade u.s. and world history where you teach world war i by saying it happened in this way. part of the reason to repeat that, it is the tenth grade verks of it, but the simplified version of what constitutes the purposes and the reasons for world war i. are we going to see sort of the libya and benghazi situation talked about in that way or is
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there a way to provide context that lets us see the kind of -- it's not a you-tube video and not an administration line. >> it's actually like something in between. president obama would come to this debate with a huge record on foreign policy. let's be honest about that. he steered and he worked in an area that's very volatile and he in a very changed world will -- the policy of the united states in the arab world, he will -- whoever will win will have to face a totally different wornd world. that policy is different today. you have to face government that were elected and are in power and they don't have to have the same interests. he have to convince them and collaborate and partner with them on shaping their realities closest we can to our views. i'm sorry to say that. president obama will come with his achievements, killing bin laden, hammering al qaeda,
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actually trying to endorse palestinian and israeli peace process that he couldn't do because of the factors of what's going on on the ground and many other things. what romney will come with is a bunch of insults towards these countries that alienate them before he's in office. even with china. how can he talk to the number two economy in the world, the number one holder of u.s. debt and the country giving loans to emerging markets more than the world bank. how can he talk to them before you're in office in those terms? how do you think they will do? >> a really good point. in the mideast we're dealing with democracies. there's been an assumption within the land of ir democracies. don't go to war with one another. it will mean regimes in the interest of the united states. that's not necessarily so as we might say on broadway, right? in fact, we have a very
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different position vis-a-vis these governments. they are chosen by at least some government of democracy. >> by people. what this entire discussion is about is how complex international relations is. in our presidential election cycle, you know, politics is black and white. international relations and certainly intelligence is a murky world of gray. you cannot -- i don't think we're going to have the conversation we need to have in the context that you were talking about because, one, there's not enough time. you can't get context in 90-second two-minute answers. also, it's deeply unsatisfying, i think to the president who knows the context and has all the intelligence but can't give the answers because things are classified or doesn't have enough time. but also, the american people just -- there's not enough bandwidth there. >> i want to come back on exactly this point of spell
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generals and on the issue of what we are entitled to know. we're going to stay on the issue of foreign policy but specifically the big news this morning out of both iran and syria. has there been a historic breakthrough or not? depends on what time you're reading the news. we'll get to that next. where others fail, droid powers through. introducing the new droid razr maxx hd by motorola. now more than ever droid does. and i took on all the bigger, tougher ones. but with mr. clean's new select-a-size magic eraser, he can take on any size job. at least we don't go near rex's mobile home as often.
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and final presidential debate focusing entirely on national security and foreign policy. its focus will certainly be on iran and syria. we woke up today to news involving both countries. late last night "the new york times" reported that iran had agreed in principal to one-on-one nuclear talks with
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the united states. the times sourced the story to the obama administration. however, both the white house and iranian foreign minister deny the report. senior administration official tells nbc news that there have been back channel talks between the u.s. and iran about a bilateral meeting on the nuclear issue, but no meeting agreed to yet. meanwhile, earlier today, a powerful explosion hit the syrian capital of damascus killing ten people. the blast comes on the same day that a u.n. peace envoy was in the city for talks with president assad. the world does not stop for the u.s. presidential race. and tomorrow night, both president obama and governor romney will surely need to lay out their plans for the way forward with both iran and syria. if this on the table, and if so what in the world is it doing on a political table when this is not about politics? >> the iranian thing, the
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mystery of that this morning, we were talking approximate this before, is who leaked this, what was their intent, regardless of that what's the impact in the dpee bait tomorrow night. there's theories it was a hostile intent to derail any direct talks between the u.s. and iran. i can see how it's impossible to know before tomorrow night, but i could see how this could play to the president's favor. because iran is one of the places where romney has tried to stake his claim that he is tougher. we're four years closer to a nuclear weapon, blah-blah-blah. this lets the president say look, i can't discuss everything that may be under way, but we're going to explore every peaceful solution and if romney -- if that lets him cast romney as a warmongerer on the eve of the election in the eyes of the independents, i think that could work for obama. >> war fearing independence. >> it's the best policy that we can -- that we achieve with iranians. the strangling sanction that we put on their central bank and
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their economy, their economy is sinking. be honest about it. the food prices are soaring to 40%. the -- it is in the black market, 18,000 to one dollar. it's a disaster. they have to come to a bold move. we're ready to talk. they've been saying that. now they are on their knees and they want to do that. that would play towards actually president obama. romney will have a big problem here. because he said i will never accept that they have access to nuclear technology. i look atoe owe. >> technology. >> not bomb. hear we're talking technology. they already have that. the first day in you're in office you have to attack them if this is your policy. >> what does it mean to talk about a nation, about whether or not the talks are occurring, whether or not there has been intelligence.
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the issue of intelligence shifts us away of what war or what foreign policy or diplomacy looks like previously versus what it looks like now. can a president in a presidential debate with the sensitivity of governing within this complex world talk honestly with the american people about what his policies are for example in syria or iran. >> they have to. >> disadvantages -- also he does have the advantage of knowing more than mitt romney. also, he has the advantage of being the president and the americans do rally behind their leader in times of crisis. iran certainly is capable of supplying crises >> indeed they are. >> one thing that's important is iran is dangerous, of course, but iran poses a threat because it has backing from for instance, china. what we saw in the wikileaks cables was that the bush administration had these discussions with china about its proliferation of nuclear weapons technology to iran and did nothing about it.
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so clearly, this is going to be an issue not only for the republicans but also for the democrats because neither party has been very successful on iran. >> how do you balance that like the threat issue so iran can provide us with this sense of threat versus syria, which is not a threat issue. it's a humanitarian crisis issue. if you're president and in a foreign policy debate, it's both an issue about war weary independence, not liking a war among erg stance vis-a-vis iran. is there been -- it might work against the president on sort of taking a bit of a stance back from syria. >> i think the american people at this point, after two wars and thousands of americans wounded and thousands killed, if the president is going to send troops to another country, they want to know exactly what is the mission, what exactly are they going to be doing an how fast can we then bring them home? the thing -- >> all the answers we didn't get
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in iraq. >> if you want to resolve the syrian crisis, you have to own it. you have to invade it, occupy syria. send troops on the ground. because romney, the view is i'll arm the rebels. who are the eb rebels? who are they? >> a larger point i was going to make, which is the president has for all the things you said, gordon, the thing i would tack on that, the president has a record. we know what he's been doing the last four years. with mitt romney, we don't exactly know. he says a lot of things. >> right. >> easy to be the candidate. >> easy to be the candidate. but when you're governor romney, one minute you sound like you want to go to war with iran. the next minute you say basically my policy is the same as the president's. >> i think romney is portraying is this kind of nostalgia for the age when america shaped global events more than it can in a world where china and the rise of the rest. i don't even know if romney believes that.
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it's hard to know what romney believes at this point. >> deep ignorance on -- >> let's go -- we're going to come right back on this issue of -- this changing power, particularly as you brought up china and the issue of china and what it means to be the candidates who can say whatever he wants about how strong and powerful and rough he'll be on china. are you going to pay more for your iphone? we're talking china when we come back. little q&a for fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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he touts his business experience as a ceo of bain capital with a long history of outsourcing to china. he thinks of that as his main qualification for president. or maybe it's because he is the man who just hired a new economic policy director, who is jpmorgan's executive director for lobbying and helped to kill legislation meant to address chinese currency manipulation. it could also be because a move like that is outside the purview of the oval office. i'd call that an idle threat, mr. romney. back to my panel. i want to bring you in on this. this language of who is going to get tough on china. we've seen polling now where americans give an edge, 49%, 40% edge over president obama on china policy. this is the land of la la. this is not what china policy is. >> this is the first presidential election where both
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candidates are trying to outdo each other on china. regardless of who wins shall and regardless of what they say right now, there will be real policy change in the next administration. it will be tougher on china. but that's largely because of reaction of what beijing is doing. the trade behavior has gotten much worse. they're trying to use a trade leverage for geopolitical purposes against us, against the japanese, against most countries in the region. there's going to be a very different conversation about china, away from the sound bites that we have been hearing in the last three or four weeks but the policy change will be real. >> the constraints are regardless of who is -- they're structural constraints. >> the truth is, i think that if romney did not have the bain capital pioneer of outsourcing, obama would be vulnerable on china. i don't think either party thought through what would happen in the dozen years since the wt o because of the incentives of global -- able to
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get work anywhere. they implemented supply stores with chinese. the impact on wages in the u.s. for decades is the cow that left the barn. now we've created a constituency in the u.s. that's powerful and has a stake in not upsetting that apple cart. >> that's changing, though. china made it self-an unreliable member of global supply chains. you're seeing the multinationals pushing back a bit and the -- >> i think obama was thoughtful on china especially when he denounced it in so many episodes. what romney is saying, he's envisioning his relationship with china as president eventually as if it was a decade ago. okay, we see china as we have problem with them on trade, taiwan and eventually human rights. it's a different monster today, it's a different beast. we have to address that. china opposing our intervention in syria or any sanction against
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syria by using veto. china is today number two economy in the world. they determine -- they're giving loans to africa. >> hear giving -- >> colonizing africa. >> bigger than that, we have to address this issue. the challenge for china will be economic issues, yes, human rights issues, that will be the lock, geopolitical influence. we have to know that. >> obama made a useful tilt militarily to asia. when i was in the region last year, japan, others are very happy that the u.s. is signaling they're going to shift their presence there. i do think the challenge for the u.s. is i think the chinese are playing this 100-year-long game. our presidents and ceos is four or five years. >> let's not miss this. again, the world does not stop just because there's a presidential election. it will respond. we have a chinese newspaper responding to romney's -- i'm
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going to call you a currency manipulator. china perhaps will be forced to fight back. then his administration would be likely on the way to a global trade war. right? you can't just sort of act unilaterally in this circumstance. >> china has an enormous trade surplus against the u.s. countries with trade surpluses don't start trade wars. they're in no position do so. >> i see. >> the chinese economy right now is slumping very badly. they don't have the 7% growth they're talking about. they have more like 1 or 2, maybe even 0. that means china is more reliant on the u.s. these days. there's a lot of -- >> part of why they're sending not only infrastructure investment but also workers into africa, they're making some of the international inroads that for example the u.s. has not had the foresight to do. >> listen, the united states will remain for the second -- for the next two decades the number one super power in the
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middle east and probably in most countries. simply not because of the values and the national interest. simply because it represent today for all of the global emerging markets a place where they would like to head for and would like to be inspired by. i think that investment of this administration, education in these countries, planned parenthood and other funds to develop and evolve is massive. it shows. you go to lebanon, you go actually to pakistan, you know, the ma lala case is a huge case. something is changing on the ground in iran itself where we found not secretly to -- >> you've taken this where we're going to go after the break. we're going to have an update on malala. she's the 15-year-old pakistani girl shot for going to school. stay with us. you have to scrub it first. no you don't.
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last week we talked about 15-year-old pakistani activist malala yousufzai who survived being shot in the head by the taliban on her school bus for daring to promote the idea that girls in her country deserve a proper education. on tuesday, malala was flown to the united kingdom for treatment. this week we've learned that she's steadily improving. according to the university hospital's birmingham update, she is stable, comfortable and responding well. on friday, doctors said malala was able to stand with help and to write. her body may be slowly healing, but a new york times article indicated yesterday that public opinion about her shooting and her struggle may be quickly turning. we have mixed feelings one man told reporter deck lynn walsh. what is the americans who shot her or al qaeda? we don't know. some people think this is all an
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american publicity stunt to make their point against the taliban. now, granted, there was skepticism about malala's activism before she was attacked but this conspiracy theory, one that involves american subterfuge of our quote-unquote ally is one example of how complicated our relationship with pakistan is and how difficult it will be to manage no matter whom the next president is. rule rula, you were here when we talked about malala last week. i am stunned that just a week later, we have folks saying this is just an american publicity stunt. >> but this is -- i'm not that so surprised at all. simply, because we've been giving the military huge aid, $20 billion in ten years. ha they've been doing with that, turning blind eye to the taliban and propaganda, anti-american propaganda. they will keep the money. they will tell the united states, look, we are civilizing
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the country on your behalf. give us the money. we'll keep this huge sum of money and we'll try to handle the taliban sometimes. they've been doing nothing on the ground. they've been poisoning the public opinion against the u.s. administration over and over, and it's a double policy that they're using are one hand. the use of public opinions to steer attention. so the u.s. will think we need the military to calm them down. it's a poisonous relationship that have to stop and has to be addressed differently. more money goes to people like malala and to schools and have a civil society that will stand up themselves. to the militaries and to the taliban. >> this is a really important point. u.s. aid to pakistan has been going largely to the army as you point out. the army has been taking a lot of it and giving it to the haqqani network, giving it to the taliban before killing americans. we've had this policy of engagement with islamabad. what we have done though is over
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the period of decades created a dangerous state. i think we need to pull back. malala symbolizes what is wrong with our american policy in administrations, in a republican, democrat going back decades. it's been wrong from the start. >> the conspiracy, when we hear americans actually shot her, there is something to be said about our complicity in the shooting itself in part because of our relationship -- >> participating in what's essentially in international shakedown by the pakistani military and then when you see something like this, i have a 15-year-old daughter. the idea that a girl who wants to go to school -- >> deserves to be -- >> shot. it shows you the sickness we're dealing with. if there's good and evil, i know it's a complex world. this has to be one of the uncomplicated. >> this one is not complicated. >> about pakistan, we were talking before about wow, this
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is supposed to be a friend, this is supposed to be an ally, this is a frenemy that has nukes. >> exactly. >> you know, how does that mess things up in terms of our relationship, the things we can do, the things we can't do and the sensitivity. >> for all of our anxiety about iranian access to nuclear capacity and technology, we have this so-called allied relationship which could not be more complicated. >> i give you the money to silence you and at the same time, okay, fine, they will always keep you under pressure. so i can't have the money. that newspaper, let's check really who owned that newspaper in pakistan and most of the statements are controlled by the army. we are funding the worst monster. i am very concerned about this. i think the u.s. -- >> how old is this particular -- >> how old is this particular policy? this is not a past three years sort of policy. >> this goes back to george h.w.
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bush. it had bipartisan support then. one of the things i think is interesting about all of this. for as bad as the taliban is and as tough as al qaeda looks, they have values that most people in the world just find abhorrent. this is our strength. the one thing that -- you look at president obama and he represents things. he represents america, he represents things that people like around the world. that's why he got the nobel peace prize. controversial award. but i think it really goes to the issue of american and western -- >> i said before, it was a brilliant award for us as a nation because he's a cosmopolitan world citizen sort of president. it was like good job america on imagining that you could be led by someone like that. gordon chang. thank you so much for being here. the rest with back for more. i'm going to talk about mitt romney's thoughts of gun
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we are really looking forward to the town hall debate specifically because of the format. maybe, just maybe one of the audience questions would shake things up, introduce an issue other than the usual boilerplate and a response from the candidates other than the standard talking points. it seemed on tuesday night like that moment had finally arrived. no, not when mike jones stood up, you sir can have a seat. rather, the great moment came when audience member nina gonzalez stood up and presented the contenders with this question. >> president obama, during the democratic national convention in 2008 you stated you wanted to keep ak 47s out of the hands of criminals. what has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons? >> our nations need for an answer to that question couldn't
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be more urgent than it is right now. because 2010 and 2011 the number of violent victimizations in the united states increased by 18%. that's the sharpest increase in nearly two decades. of homicides for which the fbi received weapons data in 2009, 72% of murders were committed with guns. in one year, almost 100,000 people are shot in the united states. of those people, more than 30,000 of them are killed by guns. every year, in the u.s., in the last 44 years, there have been more than one million americans killed by guns. a number we should take into account when we talk about american exceptionalism. because among 23 of the world's high-income populous countries shall the united states firearm homicide rates were 19.5 times higher than all of those countries. for 15 year elds to
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24-year-olds, firearm homicide rates in the united states were 42.7 times higher. overall among those, 23 of the high income nations, united states accounted for 80% of all firearm deaths. there are the ones we know. the ones that make national headlines, like the 12 who died and the 58 wounded after james holmes opened fire in aurora, colorado, movie theater in july where the six people who were killed and the four wounded attacked a milwaukee, wisconsin sikh temple in august. there have been 61 attention grabbing mass murders, 139 firearms were involved. then there are the shootings that become so commonplace that they barely merit a mention in the local press or when it's the president's hometown of chicago, maybe it might get a mention in
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a presidential debate. this city, chicago, marked a grim milestone at the start of this month. on monday morning, october 1st, chicago woke up of the city's 400th homicide in the year. that's a 25% increase from the same time last year. for all these reasons and for, nina gonzalez's question set the perfect tone in the presidential debate. it's also why the response from the republican candidate struck us as appallingly tone deaf. because mitt romney's response to all of those in search a solution was to tell single mothers to go in search of a husband. we're going to try to do better than that when we come back. [ female announcer ] caroline penry began using olay total effects in 2001. and one wedding, 2 kids, 43 bottles of olay total effects many birthdays later, still looks amazing. thanks to the trusted performance of olay.
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a lot of great single moms, single dads, but, gosh, to tell our kids before they have babies they ought to think about
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getting married to someone, that's a great idea because as a two parent family the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. >> okay, so, there we all were right in the middle of a discussion about gun control, between our two presidential candidates, suddenly out of nowhere, one of them out of nowhere starts talking about single parents. it was odd enough to hear from a -- nonsec question t-- the bet way to address gun control is to control guns. joini in in joining -- i was looking at the president's face there on that clip and he's got a sort of neutral expression as he's
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listening to mitt romney. i was sitting there in my living room going, what? why would a single parent answer to a gun control question? >> i was thinking about sarah palin. but honestly the real issue i think that mitt romney was pointing to is something that a lot of americans think, that there's a link between the deterioration in the american family and violent crimes. a survey showed that the most recent mass shootings, 12 of those that came out of this year, six of the men who did these crimes were from two parent households and only three were from single parent households. so there's no correlation between who's doing these kinds of things and what kinds of
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families they're doing. >> someone asked about a so-called social problem which is so-called gun violence, but the answer must be associated or correlated with this other social problem. you get a quick grasp of this, if anything they seem to be negatively correlated that there's been more single parent head of households, there's been less gun violence, which simply mean that is getting rid of your father is the best way to assure no gun violence. but actually they're not correlated. >> actually i was surprised with both sides. we have to be honest here. one thing it shows how much the nra actually is so powerful in lobbying and shutting down this debate and when you ask them, what would you do? very simple, what would you do? would you ban weapons of
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assaults, assault weapons and both of them fumbled, saying, yeah, we believe in the second amendment. it's like both candidates saying, take an aspirin, this can help it. >> and particularly putting it between your knees. >> there's four million members, they totally control where the debate is. "saturday night live" said on that question, would you do something about ak-47s, president obama goes no, and romney goes no. i wrote a column a few years ago that there were these sensible laws that motivates potential purchases to one gun a lot. i don't find myself needing more than one a month. but a column came out that i thought was very -- why don't we limit matt miller to one commlu
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at a time. then you've got a flame to nra central who put out the constitutional government and try to bat you back. they're incredibly organized. >> being in washington, d.c. on a new jersey amount of money so everybody would shut their mouth up. what happened to marcus should actually bring this debate. and i'm sorry to compare this. after september 11, everyone wanted a reaction, everybody wanted to go and hammer the talibans and at risk international issues. we should address this issue because it's the future of our children. we should send our children to schools, university and even to a cinema without fearing that -- >> if not a bad metaphor analogy. the very fact that the president acknowledged, this is happening in chicago, but there are no serious attempts other than increased policing to address
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this, right? and increased policing we know is insufficient. >> and then it gets to what you were just saying, it's the power of the nra, it's not that they just give lots of money to politicians, it's that they run candidates against politicians who go against their interests. i mean clearly -- >> the castle doctor legislation. >> the stand your ground law which might make it possible for george zimmerman to literally get away with murder for killing trayvon martin. the 206 million rests of us are going to have to push back. >> we are going to be talking about the rest of us because the strual for women continues. we have some good news this week
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in voter suppression. >> time for the your business entrepreneur of the week, former modeling analyst created shoptiques. she knows content sales so she also launched a companion online magazine as an ultimate source for what's in. for more your business, watch sunday mornings on msnbc. sweetie, you have to scrub it first.
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more households use cascade dishwashing detergent than any other brand. welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. we have a quick but very important update on one of the this week in voter suppression stories that we've been covering. namely, these. voter fraud is a felony warnings that were erected mostly in communities of color. in cities like cleveland, ohio. now the billboards were put up by clear channel after they were paid for by "a private family foundation as is stated in fine print on the ad itself." the last part is important. it's a big reason why the 30 or so billboards in cleveland after much protest will now be coming down. immediately. the cleveland plain dealer reported at 12:00 a.m. this morning that clear channel is
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taking down the boards because the company has a policy against putting up anonymous political message. to correct the error, clear channel said that the client, the family foundation, felt the best solution was to take the boards down. we're in the process of removing them. interesting, huh? the client is willing to take the boards down rather than reveal their identity. we are seeking confirmation from clear channel that similar billboards in other cities, including cincinnati and milwaukee will also be removed. we'll let you know when we know more. for now, that's in the win column. i want to turn to the latest nbc wall street journal poll. among likely voters niegs wade, president obama and governor romney are tied. golly goodness. okay. at 47% apiece. the poll conducted after the second presidential debate makes dleer if the president is re-elected, it will be because of women voters. the president leads nationally,
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51% to 43% over mitt romney among women voters. indeed, this week we saw a slew of polls from battleground states that show just how crucial the women's vote is. data released by the project new america shows that in florida the president leads 48% to 44% among likely women voters. in north carolina a state that the president won in 2008. he leads 49 to 43% and the margin increases in wisconsin 50 to 40% while in colorado the gap widens with 53% in favor of the president and only 39% for romney. in nevada the president enjoys a 14% lead over his challenger among women who are likely voters. each of these states, the president is holding a thin lead due to that gender gap. but the campaigns know that it just ain't over until it's over. for that very reason, ladies, they're working to get your vote. maybe we should all be feeling pretty special right now.
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i don't know about y'all. but i like to be courted by my politicos. >> we don't have to order up some binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women. >> this president has failed america's women. >> it's not a preexisting condition. >> this is a presidency that has not helped women. >> you can turn back the clocks for immigrants, gays or women or stand up and say we're going to move forward. >> so this campaign season shows anything, there's no one way to be a woman who is voting. there are many issues that matter to us. including, reproductive rights. last month a pew poll showed that 54% of women rated a portion -- versus 36% of men. that may be why mitt romney tried to soften his stance on abortion and contraception in
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the presidential debate. this from the same man who said to turn over roe v. wade. >> rula jebreal and analyst for newsweek and her new buddy on twitter, jonathan capehart. opinion writer for the washington post. dore i clark, a contributor to forbes. and assistant professor for africana studies at the university of pennsylvania. >> i want to start with you. there has bp a ladies, ladies, women, women talk over the course of the past month but really over the course of this whole year. are mitt romney and paul ryan going to be held accountable for the stances that they took about women's equality, about reproductive rights earlier in the campaigns. >> i will think they will, melissa. one of the things interesting to me and why it was strategic to drive the message towards social issues in the second debate that happened on tuesday, when you
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bring the issue over to social issues, one of two things happens. neither of which is good for mitt romney. one, is that he's forced to take a centrist position. that opens his up to charges of flipflopping. he's said the opposite thing before. >> or romney-sia. >> the second thing that could happen he reiterates his stance. swing voters say wait a minute, this is more concerning than i thought. >> of course, part of this is what we know for sure. there isn't just sort of one version of woman voter. despite the fact that we get that language from the campaign. the big differences occurring with women, we see when -- it's women of color that are driving that gender gap. so yes, gender is part of it, but the other important part of it is women at the intersection of racial minority status or linguistic status. if you're a gay women you vote
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differently than a straight woman. if you're spanish speaking, differently than those who are not spanish speaking. these are consequences for the ideal woman voter. >> actually, look, i heard these arguments in a different country. i lived in italy. silveio bers cone i said that they can't take higher offices or positions. they cannot handle the pressure. many other of these. he never dared in italy that have the vatican to question abortion rights. simply understood he will alienate the majority of the women. if you think of as you said -- >> that's fascinating. i want to recall. you hear this sort of catholicism at the center of this conversation and somehow you're doing this horrible thing to the catholic church. the idea that one would stand in italy and refuse to even touch that question. >> he cannot. he cannot.
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they gain that pride in the '70s after a huge battle. especially if you think of our children, the girls that go to schools, high schools, that they have maybe intercourse and for some reason they get pregnant. they cannot afford to have that child or the people that have access to contraceptions because they have health care or because the employer is helping them in that. these are actually social issues and will affect women here, but will affect women in the world. when you question this basic right, you are sending message to the world. you request he it for everybody. if you cannot have the right to have the freedom to control your choices on your body, then why not -- >> we know for sure that mitt romney have said he would reinstitute the gag rule, one of the very first things that president obama did away with in the beginning of the presidency. >> i think one of the important things the president did in his response to the women's health
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question to the contraception question, to the abortion question was to pivot and to talk about the fact that access to contraception and access to family planning and abortion services have -- yes, it's a health issue but also an economic issue. >> yes. >> that a woman who has to pay for these things out of pocket, that money could have gone to tuition. could have gone to food. could have gone to a whole lot of other things that families put money on but can't afford it. this is hitting women in the pocketbook. i think the president was very smart to sort of heed this line of argument that i've been hearing for weeks now from certainly progressive women but to say that the president needs to make this point that it's not just about abortion, it's about our pocketbooks. >> if you can't control when or if you're going to reproduce, you cannot control your job. it is a deep, deep economic
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issue. >> it's a classic feminist position that the president is incorporated in the second debate. i was thinking about the schizophrenia of the republican position. on one hand you say that women are mentally incapable of making reproductive decisions. >> their body will reject rape sperm. you don't have to think about it. >> i think of it as a man taking a woman on the date, you're not smart enough to pick the restaurant or the movie or the wine but you're going to pay the bill at the end. this was why it was important for obama to pivot to making this an economic issue. it's so unfortunate that so many issues are considered women's issues when they are mainstream national, they should be considered national issues, whether it's gun control or reproductive health. these affect the economy or affect everyday lives. they're american issues. >> i think the women -- i'm really insulted i have to say. the way i heard speaking about
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women in this campaign, i never heard this anywhere else. not even in egypt, not even afghanistan. where they actually kill women. here we're degrading them to level. >> yeah, right. >> i think your point about sort of what this message sends -- certainly part of it is about control of one's reproductive rights. i gave up my ut yus to a hysterectomy. i am deeply concerned about the issues for my daughter. i'm concerned about them for women. the idea that it would only be straight women in their reproductive years who care about the questions is inaccurate. this is something that women are going to care about in the broadest sense. we're going to stay on these issues. there was a missed message. a binder full of women was the mean. but there was a missed message on that binders mean. we're going to talk about that when we come back. you know, i was once used for small jobs.
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mitt romney's comment about having binders full of women created the mean heard round the world. there was a tumbler page created. it distracted people, though, in my opinion from the important thing that he said just before it. take a look. >> we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had background that is could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to a number of women's groups and said can you help us find folks. they brought us whole binders full of women. >> we know it's not true that he was the one who actively went out. but if he was and given that he
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acted as though that was reasonable, did you hear what he said there? sounded to me like he said affirmative action policies for the purpose of diversifying your workforce are a reasonable policy initiative. i was -- then he ruined it with binders full of women. then we forgot to talk about the fact that the republican presidential candidate, as far as i could tell, said affirmative action policies are perfectly reasonable. am i misreading that? >> no. i was involved in that campaign in 2002. i was the press secretary for robert reich, the former u.s. labor secretary, also unsuccessfully running for governor. we get to watch mitt up close. it was very interesting. in massachusetts, the republicans that succeed are moderates, they're rockefeller republicans. that's who mitt romney pitched himself to be during that time. he was emphatic in -- we were hammering him of fg of course. don't believe him. he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. >> you were right. >> interestingly, for the first
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year of his administration, we were wrong. he really was sort of hughing a moderate path. was going all out on climate change. when he decided that it would be more fun to run for president of the united states than be governor of massachusetts, he turned on a dime and we have mitt 2.0. >> who has the -- >> i love this story. for me, that is precisely the angst that i think ought to drive concerns about this man as president. on the one hand, there's disagreement. but in a democracy, you're going to sometimes disagree with the person who is your president even when you overall agree with them. you'll have disagreements with your president. the idea i can't trust where you're coming from, what your position is going to be. we saw the salt lake city tribune, gave its endorsement to president obama because it said we don't know, are we endorsing this mitt romney, that mitt romney. it's not just sort of a
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flipflop, flipflop strategy here. it's a real like kind of fundamental concern. >> it's a character issue here. politicians change their minds all the time. in fact, we should respect and trust a little more a politician who will change his or her mind on a core issue. >> if they've learned something. >> abortion, climate change, immigration, gay rights. >> evolving on marriage equality. >> health care. but all of them? that's the problem with mitt romney. he has changed his position on all of those issues. how can you possibly trust that that person who has done all those things, once they get into the oval office will not change their mind again and in a way detrimental to you or to the nation. >> as excited i was about the notion that he was supporting affirmative action and given that he maven gauged in affirmative action policy for women there, that does not mean in any way that he would be supportive of it now. >> i think we should believe mitt romney when he says behind private doors the 47%, we should
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believe him that he will actually put a conservative supreme court judge. we should believe him on these issues. it represents who he is and what he stands for. who is behind him. look, when he chose his match runner, the vice president, paul ryan, paul ryan was the guy that was talking to todd akin and they were thinking of policies towards women. these are the words of -- >> forcible rape. >> this is the -- barbara bush said she never heard that in the history of the republican party. these are the people that dictate -- have their agenda dictated by the tea parties. >> i want to look real quickly at romney's ads and come to you on this. this is sort of romney's woman ad in which he says we ought to think the nice things approximate him. let's take a look. >> i was personally struck by his humanity. >> he said we need to take care of those who can't take care of themselves.
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single mothers or women who are trying to get back to work. he was very, very sensitive about that. >> he totally gets working women. especially women who like myself, had two young kids. i needed flexibility. >> he totally gets women. he likes women. he's even got a wife. those ads, in other words, might actually be consistent with a president who would nonetheless, seek to overturn roe v. wade. or make it -- >> he had one of his lovers as a minister of equal opportunity in italy. >> all of the anecdotal or personal stories that mitt romney has to continually show are up against the absence of policy, right? that's why the women are telling the stories about his person -- >> real data points. under the rein in massachusetts, i would -- i was in grad school there. there was a drop in terms of
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appointed women in terms of his -- of government. 27%. there was 27%. >> he left them in the binders. >> right. this is what he doesn't say about his bain record. i think that's a better indication versus kind of a moderate mitt in massachusetts. during the 1980s and '90s. no women were partners. now there are only four -- friendly towards women or had workplace friendly towards women, bain prove that. he want to be ceo of the united states. let's look at his bain record versus his short time as governor of massachusetts >> how could they become partners if they have to make dinner early? it was tough for me. on the one hand, i was a single parent, i am at all points a working parent. flex time is a real policy issue. that is something that is meaningful for working parents, for working children who have parents that they are caring for, for all of us in the sandwich generation. it's a real policy.
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the way it was deployed by mitt romney in the debate sounds like girls got to home and cook dinner. don't worry, we'll hire them. >> he rejected that act. let's look at really his policies. in the end of the day, i would love also president obama in the next term, if elwin, o put more women in executive offices. >> i'm all for that. >> when ex-prime minister of spain was elected. he said 50% women, 50% men. this is the only way you can challenge society and change society. put women in executive roles and they can really change things. >> as soon as we come back, i want to ask about how women can make their voices heard. we are women. hear us roar. we've been having a good time with this video. watch it. where others fail, droid powers through.
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♪ ♪ ♪ all right. i've been playing that video over and over. the voice is so beautiful and the dancing is so bad. but in it there is this sort of language about trying to preserve the rights that we have gained over the past 40 years. just -- i have been asking where is the like will i am video of this year. where is the handmade, homemade you-tubes that say this is the candidate on whose side we stand and we're finally starting to see them. they're emerging from women who are like, okay, enough. in what ways, given that we
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clearly are going to have a man as president and a man as a vice president. in what ways can women make sure that the issues are not sort of filtered through the voices of men but we have a seat at the table in the next four years. >> i think one of the important points. i write a lot for forbes and the harvard business review. one of the things that is most critical, when you look at issues like flex time and things like that, work life balance, the latest business thinking is bringing it to the point where we need to understand it's not just about women. this is something that actually benefits everyone in the workforce. if you're a baby boomer. raising young children. the workforce needs to evolve. it can't be the model that mitt romney grew up with. if you make -- it's not a sock to women. thereby enhancing our economic productivity. i think it's putting women's issues in the context of global issues for everyone. i think both candidates can
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probably get behind that. >> it does sometimes take folks who are in those kinds of circumstances which are often women in positions of leadership to see where those policy holes are. we're both in the academy. which is a generally pretty flexible kind of job. we know when i was at princeton and had a woman as the president of princeton university, she had established a set of rules about taking time off, vis-a-vis tenure when you have a baby, whether you're a male or a female. whether you adopt or give birth. sort of making sure that these were policies that were in place for everybody. that's because she had been the single mom who worked up through the tenure system. she could see, right, what the constraints were. >> also, when women ran for office, look at elizabeth warren today running, i remember when huffington ran as governor of california. i mean, the sexism and the ma soj any that she was treated with, the dismissing of the -- the disdain. these things have to stop, they
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have to end. they have to address women and what they're saying, what they're doing. not who they are, who they think they are and what should -- >> i want to play. >> it should stop. >> i want to play for you what todd akin said about claire mostly sunny mccaskill. i'm sorry i have to do this. this is todd akin talking about claire mccaskill and her relationship to washington, d.c. take a listen. >> she goes to washington, d.c. and it's a little bit like one of those dog, fetch, and she goes to washington, d.c. and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in missouri. >> so politics is tough, you got to have thick skin. but this guy, akin, given his track record, saying she's like a dog that fetches. >> a bit much. doglessly. i'm horrified by that.
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quite frankly, i'm sort of horrified by the level of discourse in the country today. the last few years. how we've gone -- we no longer know how to disagree without being disagreeable. i know that might be earnest and pie in the sky. at some point we have to stop with the vitt reol and get down to the business of hashing out problems. >> i'm sorry to say that i'm -- >> women, i'm sorry. when we used to be on television sometimes. they have to be blond and perfect and say nothing. now women are challenging and asking for questions and actually pushing these contender toss answer in policies. about what they stand for and what they're about to do. >> as much as i agree we need to agree to disagree, i don't think we can disagree about the definition of rape. >> absolutely. >> the very position of disagreeing with it is
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inherently disagreeable. right sm. >> bosnia, the women that were raped in libya when gadhafi said go house to house using this cryptic military language go and rape women. how these women would feel about these definitions, they feel horrified. >> i want to bring it back to affirmative action because i think that gets sidelined sometimes. i think when we were talking about women's gains over the last 40 years, we can't not think approximate affirmative action. >> in ways that the gop made it seem like a race issue or an issue that -- americans or latinos. >> you end up with abigail fisher in this university of texas case being a white woman against affirmative action. come on, are you kidding me? in texas? the role of affirmative action in bringing white women into the system. >> that's what was so interesting about mitt romney's quote, his pro affirmative action stance in the debate. when you're thinking about the binders full of women, hopefully
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it's -- >> multiracial women. >> but the point is that with the supreme court really deciding on affirmative action and thinking about really black and brown bodies being even kind of underrepresented in higher institutions, we have to think how it helped women get into higher positions of power. the other issue is how hard it is for women to run for elected office. so i think these -- all the issues we're talking about for the average women to go to work affect candidates and being called a dog and we know what a female dog really is. >> yes. >> how can we get women into elected office and get them to be viable presidential candidates. hillary clinton's specter is looming large. >> she's saying, actually, i'm not going to run. there's lots to be said on that. thanks to rula and jonathan and dorie. >> coming up, an african-american woman from
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now they have the scrubbing power of mr. clean magic eraser so you don't have to get down on your hands and knees to scrub away tough, dried-on stains. hey, do you guys think i'm "momtacular" or "momtrocious"? ♪ [ female announcer ] swiffer. now with the scrubbing power of mr. clean magic eraser. it's a story of healing from sins and wounds of the country's ugly and painful past. she's the descendant of american slaves and he's the descendant of the largest slave trading family in u.s. history. transporting at least 10,000 africans to the americas. they came together in late 2009 on a journey of discovery and racial reconciliation traveling through ancestral towns, cemeteries and antebellum mansions. the pair also spent two weeks in a significant piece of the
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transatlantic slave trade. the end result of their sojourn is this book. gather at the table, the healing journey, the daughter of slavery and son of the slave trade. welcome to both of them. it's lovely to have you both here. we do this thing where we talk about race and we try to do it in complicated ways and for me, your book was so useful on this. it's not necessarily a friendly story. it's not holding hands and sing and it all works out all right. there's a lot of tension here. talk to me about what this process was like for you all. >> go. >> you go. >> recognizing that racism is this historic traumatic wound with its roots back in slavery hundreds of years and that because that trauma has never been healed, we continue to pass it on generation to generation. and so we met in virginia, actually, at eastern mennonite
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university with a group called coming to the table that brings together the descendants of the slaves and the enslavers to look at the wound and find ways to acknowledge, to heal, to work through it in ways that are accountable, that are legitimate, that are authentic. >> this accountability and authenticity, i think it important. i want to read quickly from the book, sharon. i thought it was so critical. race is such an omni present fact of life for black people. you expect everyone to take the cue when you want to talk about it. white people don't think about it, don't want to talk about it or don't know how to talk about it. maybe they don't see it as important because their lives never depended on the information exchange. to me, that asymmetry is the difficulty of race talk. race talk is early and consistent and an ordinary part of life when you are racially marginal. it can often not be a part of life at all when you're a white
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american. when someone brings it up, it's like whoa, why are we having this conversation. how do you broach that in. >> we could not do anything bigger than creative relationship between two people. we purposefully decided, i'm going to engage one person from the other side and we're going to be really candid and honest and open about how we feel. and what we did was use the places that we visited to sort of be signals so you have something that would jar you and then you -- it would give us fodder for being able to talk about it. i said to tom when we first started, i'm going to say things to you that i've never said to any white person before. as you know, african-americans have these conversations all the time. but tom and his people don't. and we did have some moments that were very testy because it was so emotional at points for
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me that i cried more than i ever have. i mean, i said things to him that were like just shoot me now. >> sharon, one of the moments -- you talk about anger and your willingness to be angry and hurt about historic moments. i want to go to the moment that it is -- the lynching and death of the chicago african-american boy in mississippi and the way in which that is what launches the contemporary civil rights movement. till's mother allows the publication of the photos of his body in the jet magazine and those images of what can happen when you cross that racial boundary. i mean, there is real danger in crossing racial boundaries in the american story. it's not all friendly and something we do for fun or for ratings, right? real bodies were implicated, real death, real life in this. >> you know, i think a lot of this, being raised as a white
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male in this particular society, i'm raised not to see these things. i didn't get a big story about emmett till the way sharon did growing up. when she and i are standing in front of the crumbling ruins in money, mississippi. that's a big moment for us. we approach it from very different places. i don't get it in school or church or in home. i don't get it in any of the institutions. it's designed for me to be ignorant. it's designed for me not to see it. i don't know about the stories so i can't have a conversation about them until i make the commitment to learn, to educate myself and work with other white people to wake up. >> i want to come back as we come back after break on exactly this issue of vocabulary. when we have goodwill and have decided to try to make a relationship at least with two people and beyond that, do we even have the common vocabulary. if emmett till is a standard thing i know and part of my discourse, and it's not for you.
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his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve.
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and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ [ female announcer ] and try aleve for relief from tough headaches. welcome back. we're continuing the conversation about discovery and race with sharon leslie morgan and thomas norman dewoop. authors of gather at the table. also joining me are matt miller and till et of the university of pennsylvania and author of sites of slavery. one of the reasons i wanted you at the table while sharon and tom were here is because part of what they did was visit sites of slavery, sites of agony within the american story as they tried to have the conversations. what does it mean on a broader level, the personal track that they took? >> i'm very excited about your book, thank you for doing this and for having the conversation between yourselves and then sharing it with the nation.
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what sparked my book, sites of slavery, was what i see as a national amnesia around slavery. this is the 150th anniversary of the proclamation. as a country, we do very little things or we have very few rituals or formal remembrances of slavery and emancipation. one of the things i was interested in is how have african-american writers and intellectuals kept the memory alive in the present in order to address or redress policies, racial inequities that have -- the long arm of slavery that continues on today. the kind of silence that you talk about within your family is really kind of a microcosm of the larger amnesia and larger silence that the nation continues to have around one of the founding stories. americans democracy was born on the back of american slavery. you can't really talk about democracy without talking about slavery. yet for the most part, since the end of the civil war, we've really repressed the second half
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of the american story. >> not part of what's useful is your approach to this -- not sort of a white guilt. i feel bad about racism in general. but rather a more specific engagement with the ways that slavery provides privilege and profit and opportunity. >> i think that my favorite phrase is that guilt is the glue that holds racism together. get over yourself. get to the point of acknowledgment and being real with this issue. one of the things i found fascinating on sharon's and my travels is visiting places, many of which are exhibiting that exact amnesia. monticello, clifton house, are making big strides towards telling the whole story of the history. there was a teacher that brought a class to clifton in philadelphia where we were last week. she said, talked about the revolution, but we really don't want to discuss slavery here. the guide said, you can't. how can you do one without the other. >> i grew up in charlottesville,
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in the '70s when you went there, there were just cooks. no one could even talk about the fact that the so-called cooks were enslaved people and some of the enslaved people were the children of thomas jefferson himself. >> one of the things that seemed so powerful about what your project is, is there's an 'em path i gap i feel like in public life not just on this issue but particularly on this issue. i think the cure for that has to be education and sort of getting folks early. i grew up about -- in a suburb of new york that was kind of half jewish, half italian was what my school colleagues were for a dozen years. maybe one or two black families. you don't get the same exposure to what you talked about. that the issues are bound up with the american story. if only i had been helped earlier. you know what i mean in it's part of what has to be the fabric of what every kid learns
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in america. >> my commitment comes through genealogy. i found that incredibly empowering. because when you combine doing the historical research on people who are actually in your family and then you combine that with the sites that are associated with it, like my great grandparents were enslaved in alabama where the heart of the voter registration drives were. >> exactly. >> for you to look at that, do that genealogy, visit that place and then say you're not going to vote, that's insane. because it just evokes, you got to. >> for me, this is, i think, part of what is most enraging about the birtherism comments around president obama. is that your point about genealogy that for so many african-american families, we can't trace back. we don't know. not because we somehow are failures to keep records. but because we were separated forcibly and our births were not even recorded with names and our
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names were changed and our families were not valued. the idea that you finally have a black president, although he's not quite from that tradition, but you have a black presidentnd he is this -- this language of prove where you're from. i'm like excuse me. that inability to trace where we are from and it's part of what makes him interesting is that he can say this is my actual story. he actually -- >> found recently on his mother's side that there is some slave holding ancestry. i opened my book also with sally hemmings and thomas jefferson. i look at the ways in which african-american writers retell the story and the founding story through sally hemmings' perspective. what's interesting is the symbolic integration of slavery and how we think about american history, i end the book with reparations. it's a conversation that's pretty much been sidelined again since the election of president obama arguably. >> we can't have symbolic
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recognition of slavery. we actually have to think about the economic disen frn chiesment. >> the fact that slavery built the wealth of the western world. not just america. >> i i appreciate that you brout us back to america, because voting and the voting struggle is exactly where we're going to go as soon as we come back. i want to know if you know who's going to win the election, i don't have an answer, but i do have a little korean hip-hop. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
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maybe it's because i'm a political scientist or because i have a show on msnbc or maybe it's because i'm not shy with my opinions. whatever the reason, these days, every day, nearly everyone i ask, everyone i meet asks me the same question. who do you think's going to win the election? the polls are close, the stakes
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are high. even though we will have an answer in just a couple of weeks, people are looking for certainty now. i don't know who's going to win the election, there are certain tools that can help us predict, polling, get out the vote operations and early voting turnout. but these only give us rough estimates and there is plenty of uncertainty. and you know what's more fun and sometimes more powerful than these empirical measures? the influential creative productions of a moment. think about how ronald reagan and bill clinton both dominated their eras. yes we can were the most important words in all of 2008. if you haven't seen this video, you've been asleep for a month.
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♪ >> so it's sort of the beverly hills for korea. it's subtle in its critique of the lavishness of the lifestyle of the district. gingham is viral, everybody is in on this, even my colleagues here on the "today" show. ♪ >> so where greed, gingham is the zeit geist for 2012.
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♪ >> yes, that is so 72-year-old democratic congressman john lewis. you know john lewis, one of the original freedom writers who was viciously beaten while marching for voting rights in selma. he equated the oppression tactics with the horrors of jim ceo that john lewis just went gingham style to get out the vote. i don't know who's going to win, but i do know that getting out the vote and 1% of the critique just came together in a moment of pretty awesome cultural zeit geist.
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all of us are here to dance it out gingham style. and that's our show for "today." ♪ ♪ ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot. ...i'll look back on this day and laugh. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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some aerosols may just mix with them. can febreze really remove them? we asked real people what they thought. take a deep breath for me. describe the smell. it's very pleasant. fresh. some kind of flower maybe? remove the blindfold...